Homeowners can defend themselves against criminals who break into their house, the Justice Secretary has recently clarified. Government minister David Gauke spoke out after Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, was arrested on suspicion of murdering suspected burglar Henry Vincent, 37.

Career criminal Vincent, who targeted vulnerable victims, died of stab wounds after a break-in at Mr Osborn-Brooks’ home in Hither Green, south-east London last Wednesday morning. The public overwhelmingly leaped to the defence of Mr Osborn-Brooks, who faces an anxious wait after he was release on police bail.

The Ministry of Justice has said it ‘sympathises’ with homeowners who fight back against intruders.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman told one newspaper “While we cannot comment on specific cases, our sympathies are with householders who have to defend themselves when intruders break in.That’s why we strengthened the law in 2013 to give householders greater protection from intruders.

“Those changes make it clear that if a householder believes their life or the lives of their family are in danger, and they act in self-defence, they would not ordinarily be convicted of an offence.”

Vincent was part of a career criminal family who conned frail pensioners out of half a million pounds, it emerged yesterday.He was once on a “most wanted” list and had in the past been jailed for a total of 10 years.

Several members of his family were jailed for a total of almost 29 years at Croydon Crown Court in 2003 after they duped OAPs out of £448,180, according to the MailOnline. The gang, which operated in London and Kent comprised of Vincent his dad and five of his uncles.

Do you agree with the right to defend your home even if it leads to the death of an assailant?

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